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An ounce of prevention equals a safe summer

by jmaloni


Wed, Jun 18th 2014 02:10 pm

McGruff the Crime Dog and AlertID help parents keep kids safe during summer

Whether traveling with family or staying close to home this summer, it is important to put safety at the top of your summertime list. The National Crime Prevention Council, home to McGruff the Crime Dog, and AlertID, join forces to provide important safety tips and advice to help families keep safe this summer.

"Keeping kids safe while traveling can prove challenging for parents," said Ann M. Harkins, NCPC president and CEO. "Being prepared and practicing simple safety rules will help protect your children every day, including while on travel."

When it comes to summer travel, the details are important. AlertID makes it possible for parents to prepare in advance of their family visit. Parents can register for free at AlertID.com and enter an address to see an easy-to-read map showing sex offenders residing or working in the vicinity. Parents can view local crime information in hundreds of major cities and receive crime, severe weather, earthquake and traffic alerts as well.

The NCPC recommends the following safety steps:

Before You Travel: Snap a photo of your child prior to any event, and enter up-to-date descriptions into AlertID's "My Family Wallet" (located on AlertID's free mobile app). If the child goes missing, members may access the information on their smartphones and send it quickly to law enforcement - when every moment counts.

NCPC also suggests parents review safety rules with kids before leaving home (such as your cell phone number and what to do in case you become separated). Have children memorize or keep handy a parent's cell phone number and address, as well as the name, phone number, and address of the place you are staying.

Remind children to remain in the area where they become separated, and teach them to dial 9-1-1 in emergency situations.

While Traveling: Dress kids in bright colors that are easy for you to remember and recognize in a crowd. Always accompany and supervise children in public facilities, including restrooms. Keep children with you at all times, and strictly enforce a buddy system for older children - including designating a time and place to meet. Point out unsafe places to play and discourage kids from taking shortcuts or playing near dangerous intersections.

In the event a child is approached or grabbed by a stranger, instruct children to yell "This person is trying to take me!" or "This is not my mother/father!" and to resist by pulling, walking or running away.

For more information and tips on travel safety, visit the National Crime Prevention Council's website or AlertID's "Live Safely Resource Center" (developed in conjunction with the NCPC). For more information and to sign up for a free AlertID account, go to www.AlertID.com.

The National Crime Prevention Council is the nonprofit leader in crime prevention. For more than 30 years, its symbol of safety, McGruff the Crime Dog, has delivered easy-to-use crime prevention tips that protect what matters most: you, your family, and your community.

Law enforcement agencies nationwide rely on NCPC expertise to make an impact on personal safety and crime every day.

AlertID is a family neighborhood safety network. It offers sex offender alerts that cover more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, and crime alerts for hundreds of cities in the U.S. and all of England. AlertID has more than 1 million members in 85 percent of U.S. ZIP codes and more than 30 countries.

AlertID has proven to help reduce crime, using secure and proven technology to create two-way communication between citizens and federal, state and local authorities to provide immediate information on crime, terrorism, natural disasters, or severe weather that can threaten the safety of families and communities. For more information, visit www.AlertID.com.

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